List of U.S. Open (golf) broadcasters

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As of 2015, Fox Sports is the official broadcaster of the U.S. Open[1], as the result of a 12-year deal with the USGA for exclusive rights to its tournaments through 2026. Coverage will be telecast by Fox (over-the-air) and Fox Sports 1 (cable).[2] Coverage was previously televised by NBC and ESPN through 2014. NBC's most recent period as rights holder began in 1995; ABC held the broadcast rights from 1966 through 1994.[3]

Coverage overview

First NBC era (1954-1965)

NBC first began televising golf events after it was awarded the television rights to the U.S. Open in 1954. The tournament continued to air on the network through the 1965 event, however NBC rebuffed a long-term deal to broadcast the event when the United States Golf Association (USGA) decided on a true contract in 1966. The network, however, did televise a handful of PGA Tour events over the following decades.

ABC era (1966-1994)

ABC broadcast golf events for the first time in 1962 when it began televising the Open Championship as part of its anthology series Wide World of Sports. The network later gained the broadcast rights to the PGA Championship in 1965, and the U.S. Open in 1966. Chris Schenkel and Byron Nelson were the initial hosts of the tournament coverage. In 1975, Jim McKay and Dave Marr became the lead broadcast team, while Bob Rosburg joined the network as the first ever on-course reporter, and Peter Alliss joined as a co-anchor.

Beginning in 1982, ABC adopted its most well-known format of the Wide World of Sports era. The broadcast operated using anchor teams, in which an anchor and an analyst would call all of the action from the tower at the 18th hole, and the teams would be rotated on coverage after about a half-hour. Meanwhile, the three on-course reporters, which included Judy Rankin and Ed Sneed in addition to Rosburg, would be utilized when prompted by the anchor team. McKay and Marr would be the lead team, with Jack Whitaker and Alliss[4] as the second team. Occasionally, Rosburg or Whitaker would host if McKay was unavailable, while Roger Twibell would take over the secondary team. After his 1986 Masters win, Jack Nicklaus would appear on ABC after the end of his round and served as an analyst for the rest of the telecast.

In 1990, Roger Twibell took over as lead anchor, with Dave Marr as his analyst. Peter Alliss became sole anchor of the second anchor team. During this period, ABC acquired the rights to several non-major PGA Tour events, mostly important events such as The Memorial Tournament and The Tour Championship. 1990 would also mark the final PGA Championship to be broadcast by ABC.

In 1992, Brent Musburger, who had been heavily criticized for his hosting of golf coverage while with CBS, took over as host. Marr was dismissed from the network, while Twibell was reassigned to ESPN's golf coverage, although he occasionally hosted on ABC for a few lower-level tournaments. The format was also reorganized to more emphasize the on-course reporters. Steve Melnyk moved over from CBS to become lead analyst; however, Alliss would anchor for stretches during the telecast. Beyond the team in the booth, all of ABC's other voices were on the course, including Rankin, Rosburg, and newcomer Mark Rolfing.

In 1993, ABC used Peter Jacobsen as a lead analyst; however, Jacobsen returned to playing in 1994 and Melnyk returned to the lead analyst position. ABC continued to hold the television rights to select PGA Tour events, with the schedule increasing slightly as a result of a new television deal with the PGA Tour in 1995, however it still mostly emphasized only the important tournament events. The network lost the rights to the U.S. Open following an ugly split from the United States Golf Association (USGA) in 1994. Nicklaus held his position of entering the booth during the major championship telecasts through the period from 1992 to 1996.

Second NBC era (1995-2014)

In 1995, NBC Sports[5] acquired rights to the USGA championships, including the U.S. Open, from ESPN/ABC. ESPN retained rights to a portion of the weekday coverage, however, NBC was the dominant rights holder, including exclusive coverage of the weekend rounds. This took NBC's coverage to a new level and marked the first time in the modern era of television that the network had televised a major championship. NBC, the Yanni composed theme music, "In Celebration of Man", and its lead analyst Johnny Miller (who joined NBC in 1990) became synonymous with the U.S. Open, televising it for the next 20 years, through 2014.[6]

Fox era (2015-present)

On August 6, 2013, Fox Sports announced a 12-year deal[7] to broadcast the three open championships of the USGA: the U.S. Open, Women's Open, and Senior Open,[8] beginning in 2015.[9] Fox succeeded the USGA's long-term relationships with NBC Sports and ESPN. Fox, which has televised just one PGA Tour sanctioned event in its history (the unofficial CVS Charity Classic in 2011), paid $1 billion for full rights to all USGA championships.

The Fox network airs the final two days of the U.S. Open, Women's Open, Senior Open, and Amateur, as well as late coverage of the first two days of the U.S. Open. The rest of the coverage airs on Fox Sports 1. Also, the final two days of the U.S. Open air on Spanish-language channel Fox Deportes.[10]

On April 23, 2014, Fox Sports announced that Greg Norman would join Joe Buck[11][12] as its lead golf commentary team.[13] Buck and Norman worked together for the first time at the 2014 U.S. Open, where Fox produced studio programming that aired against ESPN and NBC's studio shows.

On November 18, 2014, in advance of its coverage of the Franklin Templeton Shootout, Fox announced the full layout of its golf team.[14]

In January 2016, Greg Norman was let go by Fox in response to poor reception towards his performance during the U.S. Open and was replaced by former ESPN analyst Paul Azinger.[15] The network's 2016 U.S. Open team:[16]

The network's 2016 U.S. Open team:[17]

  • Play-by-play: Joe Buck, Shane O'Donoghue
  • Analysts: Paul Azinger, Mark Brooks, Jay Delsing, Brad Faxon, David Fay, Steve Flesch, Natalie Gulbis, Gil Hanse, Juli Inkster, Buddy Marucci, Scott McCarron
  • On-course reporters: Ken Brown, Steve Scott, Curtis Strange

In 2017, Fox made several changes to the commentator team:[18]

  • Lead announcers: Joe Buck, Paul Azinger
  • Play-by-play: Shane O'Donoghue
  • Studio Analysts: Darren Clarke, Brad Faxon
  • On-course reporters: Shane Bacon, Steve Flesch, Juli Inkster, Curtis Strange, Ken Brown
  • Rules analyst: David Fay
  • Course design analyst: Gil Hanse
  • Studio Host: Holly Sonders

For the 2018 U.S. Open[19], Fox announced that they would be splitting their lead commentary booths into two teams[20]. This was done in an effort to avoid the occasional logjam caused by a three-man booth, which had been Joe Buck with analysts Paul Azinger and Brad Faxon. Therefore, Azinger would now be paired with Buck, and Faxon would be paired alongside Shane Bacon.

International coverage

In Australia, from 2015 Fox Sports Australia is the exclusive broadcaster of the U.S. Open until 2018.[21]

In the United Kingdom, Sky Sports is the exclusive broadcaster for the U.S. Open until 2018[22].

Commentators

Play-by-play/anchors

Announcer Years Network(s)
Chris Berman 1986-2014 ESPN
Joe Buck 2015-present Fox
Bob Costas 2003-2013 NBC
Dick Enberg 1995-1999 NBC
Bill Flemming 1966 ABC
Frank Gifford 1971-1973 ABC
Chick Hearn 1959-1965 NBC
Dan Hicks 1995-2014 NBC
Keith Jackson 1967 ABC
Henry Longhurst 1967 ABC
Jim McKay 1966-1993 ABC
Brent Musburger 1992-1994 ABC
Lindsey Nelson 1954-1965 NBC
Bud Palmer 1959-1965 NBC
Lou Palmer 1982 ESPN
Ray Scott 1959-1965 NBC
Chris Schenkel 1966-1974 ABC
Jim Simpson 1964-1965
1982-1985
NBC
ESPN
Jim Thacker 1982 ESPN
Mike Tirico 2000-2014 ESPN
Roger Twibell 1990-1991 ABC
Jack Whitaker 1982-1989 ABC

Analysts

Announcer Years Network(s)
Peter Alliss 1975-1994 ABC
Paul Azinger 2016-present Fox
Tony Jacklin 1974 ABC
Peter Jacobsen 1993-1994 ABC
Gary Koch 1996-2014 NBC
Roger Maltbie 1995-2014 NBC
Dave Marr 1974-1991 ABC
Cary Middlecoff 1982 ESPN
Johnny Miller 1995-2014 NBC
Byron Nelson 1966-1973 ABC
Jack Nicklaus 1986-1994 ABC
Greg Norman 2015 Fox
Dan Pohl 1995 NBC
Gene Sarazen 1955 NBC
John Schroeder 1995 NBC
Marilynn Smith 1973 ABC
Ed Sullivan 1959 NBC

On-site reporters

Announcer Years Network(s)
Dottie Pepper 2005-2012 NBC
Judy Rankin 1985-1994 ABC
Mark Rolfing 1998-2014 NBC
Bob Rosburg 1975-1994 ABC
Bob Trumpy 1995 NBC

See also

References

  1. ^ Haggar, Jeff (June 10, 2013). "History of US Open golf TV coverage (1954-present)". Classic TV Sports. 
  2. ^ Baysinger, Tim (August 7, 2013). "Fox Sports Reaches Rights Deal for Golf's U.S. Open". Broadcasting & Cable. Retrieved August 7, 2013. 
  3. ^ Rosaforte, Tim (June 27, 1994). "See Ya Later". Sports Illustrated: 49. Retrieved June 12, 2013. 
  4. ^ Hagger, Jeff (June 15, 2015). "Original ABC footage of TC Chen double hit in 1985 US Open". Classic TV Sports. 
  5. ^ "NBC broadcasts U.S. Open Golf again after 30 years". NBC Sports History Page. 
  6. ^ 2014 NBC US Open Final Round Ending on YouTube
  7. ^ "USGA And Fox Sports Tee Up Landmark Partnership". USGA. August 7, 2013. 
  8. ^ Kaufman, Alex (June 30, 2015). "U.S. Senior Open on Fox Improves Upon Last Week's Debut". Awful Announcing. 
  9. ^ Lucia, Joe (August 7, 2013). "Fox awarded rights for golf's US Open". 
  10. ^ http://www.usga.org/articles/2015/02/fox-sports-announces-2015-usga-championship-broadcast-schedule-21474878643.html - 4 February 2015
  11. ^ Fang, Ken (June 14, 2017). "Can Fox ever get some love from golf fans?". Awful Announcing. 
  12. ^ Bucholtz, Andrew (June 18, 2017). "Joe Buck misidentified Brooks Koepka's girlfriend Jena Sims as his ex, Becky Edwards". Awful Announcing =. 
  13. ^ Emery, Debbie (April 23, 2014). "Joe Buck, Greg Norman to Co-Anchor Fox Sports 2015 Golf Coverage: 'We're Coming Right Out of the Gate'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved April 24, 2014. 
  14. ^ "Fox Sports Golf Team". Golf.com. Retrieved November 18, 2014. 
  15. ^ "Paul Azinger replaces Greg Norman as lead golf announcer for Fox Sports". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved January 27, 2016. 
  16. ^ "Veteran Announcers Bolster FOX Sports' 2016 USGA Championship Broadcast Team". foxsports.com. April 25, 2016. Retrieved June 19, 2016. 
  17. ^ "Veteran Announcers Bolster FOX Sports' 2016 USGA Championship Broadcast Team". foxsports.com. April 25, 2016. Retrieved June 19, 2016. 
  18. ^ "Your 2017 US Open Announcers". Awfulannouncing.com. June 15, 2017. Retrieved December 4, 2017. 
  19. ^ Haggar, Jeff (June 17, 2018). "Shot chart from Fox Sunday US Open telecast - 2018". Classic TV Sports. 
  20. ^ Rigdon, Jay (May 3, 2018). "Fox is moving away from a three-person booth at the U.S. Open". Awful Announcing. 
  21. ^ Knox, David (April 9, 2015). "Fox Sports tees off with more Golf". TV Tonight. Retrieved April 9, 2015. 
  22. ^ "The Masters: Sky Sports signs new multi-year deal to extend coverage". 

External links

  • U.S. Open Archives - Awful Announcing
  • SEARCH RESULTS: U.S. OPEN GOLF (252)
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